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Food and drink exporting course offered to Highlands and Islands businesses

26 August 2013

Food and drink businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to take part in a free export training course next month. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is hosting the Preparing to Export Course in partnership with Scottish Development International.

The Preparing to Export Food and Drink - Introductory course will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on the 09 and 16 Sept 2013. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is being held on 07 – 22 September.

The two day workshop, funded by Smart Exporter, is aimed at Highlands and Islands companies that are thinking about exporting for the first time or are in the very early stages of exporting.

Delivered by experienced specialists from Giraffe Consulting, the course will cover the basics of exporting, highlight opportunities in international markets and attendees will have assistance to develop a practical export plan to help their business grow.

Anja Baak from Great Glen Game attended a Smart Exporter course in January 2012. The business, owned by Anja and her husband Jan Jacob, specialises in charcuterie products such as venison salami, chorizo and bresaola. They already sent their products to Europe but had attracted worldwide interest in their award-winning products.

"When I attended the course we were at the start of our exporting activity. It really helped us to think about which markets to target and which routes to take.  It gave us a better understanding of the support available for companies and helped us develop a clear plan of action to build the business internationally. "

Norma Macdonald from HIE, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for food and drink businesses who are interested in exporting to come along find out all of the basics. This course will also give them the skills to be able to assess where to look for new opportunities while avoiding any pitfalls.

“As proven by the amazing results across our region in the recent Great Taste Awards, we have some of the finest producers in the UK and in some cases, the world. There are already a large number of businesses exporting from the Highlands and Islands to countries across the world and with this course we hope many other businesses will choose to follow their lead.”

To book your place, please visit:

  • Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight encourages the food industry - from restaurants to retailers and caterers - to source and champion quality Scottish produce in order to raise awareness of and support the people who produce our food and drink. Consumers are encouraged to attend one of the hundreds of Scotland-wide events held during the two weeks, to support the Eat Scottish pledge and make a conscious effort to eat more local produce. This is done through the Fortnight website , Facebook page and Twitter feed, with the hashtag #EatScottish.
  • The Preparing to Export Programme is fully funded by Smart Exporter and is free to businesses and individuals in the Highlands and Islands. Smart Exporter is funded by HIE, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the European Social Fund, and run in partnership with Scottish Development International. It provides free or subsidised services for companies and individuals who wish to expand their exporting knowledge.
  • To find out more about Preparing to Export and the Smart Exporter programme in the Highlands and Islands, contact Laura Robertson on 01463 244528 or


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